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The Magic of "Mungaaru Male"
Interview with Director Mr. Yograj Bhat

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When Mungaaru Male released four weeks ago, no one in the film industry expected it to be such a big hit. Today the film is running to packed houses all over the state. The director of the film Yograj Bhat has tasted the sweetness of box - office success like never before.

Here is an interview with the talented director.

Congratulations, Mungaaru Male is a huge hit.
Thanks. The film is attracting huge crowds. We knew we had made a very good film.. It’s flattering to know people are seeing it time and time again. We are indeed very happy.

Why do you think people like it so much?
Well, Our films now a days are so clichéd. Audiences are bored of watching films with rowdism and extreme violence. These films have lost the entertainment value. It was important for us to present the film in a very unique way. In Mungaaru male we tried to tell a story in a genuine manner. Our story is simple yet entertaining.

Tell us about yourself. Your school and college days.
I was born in Mandarthi in Udupi district. I did my schooling in Dharwad.Then I went to Mysore for further studies. I was a student of Kannada Literature.During my college days I watched a lot of foreign classics like Coppolla’s Godfather, Kurasawa’s Ran. These films inspired me a lot.I came to Bangalore at the age of 22.

Is it true that you came here to be a cameraman?
Yes, Initially I wanted to be a film cameraman. My stint as an assistant director with Kasaravalli, Desai and B Suresh helped me to learn more about the aspect of film direction.

Was it easy to get a break as an independent director?
No it wasn’t. After eight years I wanted to make my first film. The highlight of my first film MANI was Umashree and Rangayana Raghu. Even today people remember those two characters. Then I made Ranga SSLC with Sudeep.

What happened after Ranga SSLC? You didn’t direct any film for two years!!!
Those were testing times. I spent my time doing a lot of corporate films and documentaries. I had also decided to give my self a bit of time before I ventured into another film project. That is when the idea of Mungaaru Male came up. We almost spent one year writing the script. Ganesh liked the script very much, he introduced a
Producer who eventually produced the film for us. And rest is history.

Tell us about the music in your film. It must be Mano Murthy’s best work.
Mano Murthy’s music is always considered to be very melodious. When I narrated the film to him, he was very eager to work on it. Since he lives in California, we used to discuss over the phone, he used to compose tunes and mail it to me every night. We spent months finalizing the five tunes and compositions. I must admit that, all the late night discussions over the phone have paid off. He has created wonders. Credit must also go to Jayanth Kaikani, that man has written some unbelievable verses. They are so beautiful.

Your cinematographer and editor deserve the credit too. They have done a terrific job. Did you face any difficulty while shooting in the rain?
I agree. Both of them are young and enthusiastic. Krishna my cameraman is very talented. I got him special lenses do get the desired effect in some scenes. The location also played a vital role in the film.I must admit that we shot major portion of the film when it was raining. However shooting in cloudy conditions can be very challenging. What I learnt while shooting this film was that you cannot take dates of Mother Nature. My editor too has done a commendable job. He understood the requirements of my film very quickly.He has cut the film brilliantly.

The highlight of the film must be scenes of Ganesh with Devdas (the rabbit).
We didn’t want to have a human character with whom the Ganesh shares his feelings. We thought it would be a good idea to have a rabbit or a dog. Devdas has become a huge hit with the audiences.

Ganesh is a terrific actor. Tell us about him.
The most amazing thing about Ganesh is his memory. He can remember pages of dialogues without any difficulty. As you know he has a great sense of humour. In this film you will also notice that his screen presence is dynamic. You cannot take your eyes of him, once he is on screen. He is a Live wire.

Ananth Nag has excelled in his role. Tell us about rest of the cast.
Ananth Sir is one of the best actors we have today. It was a pleasure to work with him. Padmaja Rao, Sudha Belavadi and Sanjana have done justice to their roles. We all had a blast doing the film. Since we had worked extensively on the intricate details of each and every character, it was easy for us to shoot the film.

Do you plan to release the film in the US?
Yes, We are planning to release Mungaru Male in the US in a very few days time.

What are your future projects?
Currently I am working on a couple of films. Pre production work is on. It should be on floors sometime in the middle of the year.

Thank you for speaking to OKC.
Thank you

Harish Mattur

Click here if you would like to Contribute or send a feedback.
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Click here to read more about Mungaaru Male.


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